This is not an anti-utopia science fiction. Dyson’s new Zone air purifier headphones may look as wild as they sound, but it’s a real device you’ll be able to purchase sometime this fall, Dyson said.
For Dyson – the company best known for its high-end vacuum cleaners – this is the first foray into wearable technology. The Zone is a set of noise-canceling over-ear headphones that “simultaneously deliver breathtaking sound to the ears and cleared airflow to the nose and mouth”, solving “urban air quality and noise pollution problems”. Prices have not yet been reported, but it is safe to assume that they will cost more than your typical premium headphones with noise reduction fromand and maybe even more headphones.
Rumor has it that Dyson has been working on such a device for years. Back in 2018, Bloomberg reported that Dyson was working on itand in 2020, Dyson filed a patent for a new pair of headphones with a built-in air filter.
“Air pollution is a global problem – it affects us wherever we are. In our homes, at school, at work and while traveling, on foot, by bike, on public or private transportation, ”says Jake Dyson, chief engineer (and son of the company’s founder of the same name). “The Dyson area cleans the air you breathe while driving. And unlike face masks, it provides a trail of fresh air without touching your face using high-efficiency filters and two miniature air pumps. After six years of development, we’re excited to deliver clean air and clean audio anywhere. “
According to Dyson, the air filtration component is a “non-contact” system, which means it doesn’t touch your face like a mask, but sits right in front of it. “Cressers in each ear cushion draw air through two-layer filters and direct two streams of purified air into the user’s nose and mouth, which are directed through a non-contact visor,” Dyson explains. “Sculptural openings in the visor ensure that the cleaned air stream is kept close to the nose and mouth and diluted as little as possible by external side winds.”
Dysan says developing a non-contact solution was crucial in order to avoid “the discomfort and annoyance associated with full contact alternatives.” In the latterno one seems to complain too much about wearing filters in their noses to distract moisture from exhaled air back into their suits for further drinking. But in the real world people can feel strong emotions about wearing something on their face, especially a mask.
Dyson says her engineers used a breathing manikin named Frank to test the area, which was equipped with medical-grade mechanical lungs and sensitive equipment that replicated human breathing patterns in a controlled chamber. This equipment measured the level of contamination in the nose and determined “the filtration efficiency of those particles that would otherwise be in Frank’s artificial lung.” The mannequin was named Frank because he reminded Frankenstein’s engineers, a Dyson spokesman told CNET.
Earlier this year, Razer released its cyberpunk styleair purifier mask. The company initially said it used N95-class air filters, but later faced poor publicity when it had to repeal the designation. Dyson does not refer to medical masks regarding air filtration, but says electrostatic filtration captures 99% of contaminants as small as 0.1 microns, such as dust, pollen and bacteria, and that a carbon filter enriched with potassium captures urban gases such as NO2, SO2 and O3. How much it will cost to replace this filter is still known, but filters for its full-size air purifiers .
As for audio, Dyson says you can expect great listening with a clear, neutral audiophile sound profile and a patented advanced noise reduction. The headphones are also designed for comfort, although Dyson has not announced how much the headphones weigh and what are the battery life indicators with air filtration and noise reduction enabled. Each ear bowl contains two motors, and Dyson says they are the smallest of all their machines to date. The headphones connect via Bluetooth – no version number is reported – and can also be used for voice calls.
Once we get the review samples later this year, we’ll give more details on how the headphones work and how they feel on the streets of New York and in the subway system. We expect to get interesting reactions from our satellites.
The main features of the Dyson Zone air purification headphones, according to Dyson
- A radically new format for transmitting purified air and high-precision audio on the go
- Electrostatic filtration captures 99% of contaminants as small as 0.1 microns, such as dust, pollen and bacteria
- Potassium-enriched carbon filter captures urban gases such as NO2, SO2 and O3
- Contactless air supply visor directs two streams of purified air into the nose and mouth, designed specifically for outdoor and crosswind use
- The smallest in any Dyson machine to date, two motors are located in each ear cup and are the “heartbeat” of the Dyson Zone air cleaning headphones
- Advanced ANC and high-performance neodymium electro-acoustic system provide rich, exciting audio that accurately replicates audio as intended by the artist or creator
- 15 undergraduate students from the Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology worked on the Dyson Zone project, supporting a variety of disciplines such as acoustics, electronics and airflow systems design.
- 3 ANC modes: isolation, conversation and transparency
- Insulation mode: the highest level of active noise reduction
- Talk mode: activates when you lower the visor – automatically disables cleaning to save battery power and amplifies the conversation
- Delivery this fall